Must-try Breakfast Casserole

Happy last day of 2018, and happy first anniversary to this blog!  I began everydayhomegourmet in mid-December of 2017 because I have a passion for creating and sharing good food.  My goal is to make great food that is simple to prepare as well as healthy and tasty. Creating this site and it’s accompanying Instagram account has been a retirement project for me that incorporates my passion for cooking and my interest in taking photos with the need to keep challenging myself to learn new things and feed my need for creativity.  I have been cooking since my late teens and have always loved taking photos. I received my first camera on my 10th birthday. My cooking and photo skills have definitely improved over these many years and hopefully will continue to get better for years to come! I am still learning!

Although I have used technology in my work for many years, the whole blogging and social media world are quite new to me and I was keen to take a dip into that world and see where it took me.  Learning the technical side of creating this site has taken more time than I anticipated and it is definitely still a work in progress! My goal was to post once a week and as I started learning the ins and outs of creating the posts and recipes I was surprised by how much time it took.  But, as my husband says, “Anything worthwhile degenerates into hard work”. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the desire to create something of quality will take hard work, learning and focus! I will continue to work on that in 2019 and hope to always be able to bring quality content and a great reading experience to those of you who read and follow this blog.

As I reflect on this year I am reminded of many things.  Among them, that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have always been fun events in our family and we continue the gathering, hosting, and sharing of love, fun, and food.  So, here is a recipe for a great brunch dish that my Mom has been making for over 30 years. It’s easy to prepare and is always a hit. My Mom received this recipe from a friend and has been making it for Christmas morning ever since.  

IMG-3875I have made it a number of times for Christmas brunches and even cottage get-togethers with friends in the summer. It is a versatile dish and definitely open to interpretation. The nice thing about it is that you prepare it the night before and then bake it in the morning.  It also reheats well, so you could bake it a day ahead and reheat it when you want to serve it. If you’ve got overnight guests for New Year’s Eve, or you simply want to have something to throw in the oven as you enjoy your coffee the morning after a night out, give this a try!  Enjoy!

Christmas Morning Time Saver

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This may look like more ingredients and more steps than my usual recipes, but if you remember that you are basically making a ham and cheese sandwich with an egg mixture poured over, it will seem simpler than it looks!  The picture shows white bread, but I have used whole wheat bread many times and I prefer it because it keeps you full longer! Serve with fruit.

Ingredients

  • 16 to 18 slices of whole wheat bread, crusts removed
  • 8 thin slices of lean cooked ham
  • 6 to 8 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ to 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp ground pepper (black or white)
  • 1 to 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • about ¼ cup minced onion
  • about ¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
  • Cornflakes or Special K
  • ¼ pound butter

Directions

  1. Layer a 9×13 inch buttered glass baking dish with bread.  Cover dish entirely. Place ham and cheese over bread and top with another layer of bread, as if making a sandwich
  2. In a bowl, beat eggs.  Add milk and beat briefly to combine
  3. Add pepper, Worcestershire, Tabasco, onion, and pepper and stir to combine
  4. Pour mixture evenly over the sandwiches.  Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight
  5. In the morning, melt butter and pour over top.  Cover entire dish with the cornflakes
  6. Bake uncovered for 1 hour in a preheated 350-degree oven.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving
  7. Drizzle with maple syrup (optional)
  8. Serve with fruit

 

Tips:  When I’m pressed for time, or just making this for hubby and me, I do not cut the crusts off.  It doesn’t look as neat, but I find the heartiness of the crusts satisfying and more filling.

Variations:  use whole wheat or white bread; use Swiss cheese, or your favourite cheese; omit ham for a vegetarian version

 

posted by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

A Quick, tasty and colourful side dish for your turkey dinner…

The countdown clock to Christmas day is certainly running down.  If you are looking for a fresh, great tasting side dish to complement your turkey, stuffing and gravy, I have a great suggestion.  A colleague brought this dish to a potluck a number of years ago and I begged for the recipe after tasting it. I always try to have a variety of veggies and serve them in a simple, tasty way that compliments the star of the meal…In this case, turkey!  Brussel sprouts with prosciutto and pine nuts is a fresh, tasty and colourful side dish that has become a hit with many people in my family. We serve it with our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, but you can certainly serve it as a side dish any time. You can make it hours before you serve dinner, or even the day before.  If you choose to cook it the day before, I would suggest undercooking the brussel sprouts so that when you reheat them, you can still retain that bright green colour.

When we started making this dish, we used 20 brussel sprouts and it was gobbled up in no time.  We’ve now increased to 40 brussel sprouts for the same size group and it still all gets eaten. I think no matter how much we make, it would still all be gone!

With only 5 ingredients, this is a healthy and clean tasting dish!  It’s also pretty quick to make. I love making and eating this dish because it’s another example of how to turn every day ingredients into what looks like a gourmet dish.  Give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

Brussel Sprouts with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: very easy
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IMG_1239

A colleague brought this dish to a potluck a number of years ago and I begged for the recipe.  This is a fresh, tasty and colourful side dish that has become a hit with many people in my family.  We serve it with our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, but you can certainly serve it as a side dish any time. No matter how much we make, it gets eaten up.  With only 5 ingredients, this is a healthy and clean tasting dish!

Ingredients

  • 40 medium to large brussel sprouts
  • 10 slices cured prosciutto, sliced paper thin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ⅛ tsp, or less, ground pepper

Directions

  1. Toast pine nuts in a non stick pan over medium heat until golden brown.  (You could also do it on a baking sheet in the oven). Remove from heat and set aside
  2. Wash and dry brussel sprouts.  Trim end and slice in half, lengthwise
  3. Heat olive oil in non stick pan.  Add brussel sprouts to pan. Stir to coat and cook until bright green and fork tender.  (If pan is drying out as brussel sprouts are cooking, add a splash of water rather than adding more olive oil).  Stir frequently
  4. Slice prosciutto into pieces and add to pan, along with pine nuts.  Stir to combine and heat through.

 

Tips:  1) Watch pine nuts closely if doing them on the stove…they can go from golden to burnt quickly!!  2) Cover brussel sprouts with a lid before adding prosciutto and nuts to speed up cooking time slightly

posted by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

 

Turkey Tips to Reduce Your Stress in the Kitchen

Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend and many of us have turkey at this time.  Lots of people think that cooking a turkey is complicated and stressful, and I get that.  But, if you’ve ever roasted a chicken, you can roast a turkey!  It’s just a lot bigger!!  To be honest, I get why people are stressed about it.  It takes time and there’s a lot of mess that goes along with it.  The only way to avoid the time and the mess is to find a restaurant that serves turkey dinner, or order the pre-cooked turkey and sides from your local grocery store.  Those may be perfectly good options for many families at times, so don’t hesitate to go for it if that’s what you need.  Being together is what’s important!  Chances are if you are reading a food blog, you are not going to choose those options, but you are looking for ways to make a great dinner and to simplify it where you can.  One way to do that is to opt for a potluck.  If you are hosting, perhaps you’ll do the turkey, stuffing, and gravy and ask the rest of the friends and family to bring the appetizers, side dishes, and dessert.  This is perfectly acceptable and I’ve found that friends and family are always happy to contribute in this way.

If you choose to do it all yourself, you’ll need some stress saving tips!  The biggest suggestion I have is to make your turkey a day ahead.  Yes, you read that correctly.  If you’ve read my post What does cooking ahead at Christmas look like at our house?  you’ll recognize some of the information below and you’ll know that we’ve been doing this in our family for many years. It’s been a great success and a stress reliever.  To be honest, we thought it was a terrible idea when my Mom suggested it way back then, but it works like a charm.  The turkey is tender and delicious every time.  (Keep reading to find out how we keep it from drying out).  My husband and I even do all the side dishes (except for one) and gravy the day ahead and reheat them before the dinner.  It’s not actually a time saver because it takes the same amount of time to do it ahead, but it’s definitely a stress reliever!

Here are the benefits:

  • You can prepare everything at your own pace without worrying when the guests will arrive
  • You can be free to chat with your friends and family because you don’t need to spend all afternoon in the kitchen getting things ready
  • You’ll have more energy on the day you are hosting because you haven’t been cooking since the early morning
  • The very messy parts of dealing with the carving of the turkey and cleaning all the greasy pans gets done the day before your guests arrive.  You simply warm up all the dishes in your oven and pull them out when it’s time to serve!

If you haven’t heard of making your turkey a day ahead, you should really give it a go the next time you are roasting a turkey.  Here’s how you do it:

  1. Stuff and roast the turkey as you normally would
  2. Once the turkey is fully cooked, as indicated by the meat thermometer, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes
  3. Remove the skin from the breasts and underside of the turkey and set aside
  4. Carve the turkey into slices, remove legs and wings
  5. Place your turkey slices into an oven safe dish and cover completely with the skin of the turkey.  (The skin is what will keep the turkey moist when you reheat it).  Place the legs and wings on the sides of the dish.
  6. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight
  7. The next day, bring the dish to room temperature before placing in the oven at 275 degrees for about a half hour to 40 minutes.  Keep the dish covered.  (Time will vary depending on the amount of turkey you have as well as your oven temperature)

 

turkey a day ahead
Moist and tender turkey, roasted a day ahead!

 

Our turkey always comes out moist and tasty when we do it this way.  The biggest tip I have for making this a success is to use a meat thermometer.  It is virtually foolproof and takes the guesswork out of wondering if your roast is done.  I have used that same meat thermometer for almost 30 years now and it works like a charm on roasts of all kinds.  If you don’t have a meat thermometer, get one today!  It’s a great way to be sure your meat is done properly and an efficient way to monitor the cooking progress.

I don’t eat a lot of things with gravy anymore, but I do love gravy with my turkey!  I find it very stressful to make gravy once the roast is done and you’re trying to get everything to the table while it’s still hot.  So, one day a few years ago, I searched the internet to see if there was a way to make gravy without drippings and I found a great recipe that I have been using ever since for any kind of roast.  I follow the directions and just add my own drippings to it at the end.  It’s not quite as good as Mom’s, but it is very tasty and cuts down on the last-minute stress.  Here’s the link:

Gravy without drippings recipe

My husband and I also like to do all the side dishes ahead of time and reheat them too.  I never thought that reheated mashed potatoes would be good, but they have worked for us when we reheated them in the microwave.  I like to make sure I have vegetables of different colours. It’s nutritious, tasty, interesting and looks great on the plate.  So, we have done a combination of potatoes (mashed or roasted), squash, glazed carrots, green beans (steamed or roasted), mashed cauliflower, and brussel sprouts with prosciutto over the years.  (We do the brussel sprouts and prociutto only about an hour before serving to keep the bright green colour…I’ll post that recipe in a future blog post). 

We always choose one white, one orange and one green vegetable.  We put all of the cooked side dishes in separate oven-safe dishes and then reheat them in the oven along with the turkey, or microwave if we need more space than we have in the oven.  Of course, doing it this way means you use most of the oven-safe dishes you own!  But it’s still easier and less stressful clean up compared to doing everything from scratch on the day you are hosting.  So, give it all a try and reduce your stress…If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, drop me a note in the comment section or at everydayhomegourmet@gmail.com

Happy cooking, happy hosting, and Happy Thanksgiving!

*some of this information was previously posted by everydayhomegourmet in What does cooking ahead at Christmas look like at our house?